Unique Custom Gaming Controllers – part 1

Danielle, Frankie's sister and carer, says: 'Frankie's ability to do things he enjoys has gradually been declining and for him to suddenly be enabled rather than disabled is like a miracle. Thank you so much. MERU and others have created some fantastic bespoke controllers for people needing unique solutions. This from their Summer 2008 newsletter:

“Nineteen-year-old Frankie has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a progressive, muscle-wastin condition. As a result, he has severely limited mobility and this means he has to spend most of his time in bed.

During the few hours a day Frankie can spend in a chair, he enjoys playing on his Playstation. However his condition had progressed to the point where it had become impossible for him to use the conventional controller supplied with his console.

Cardiff University, near Frankie’s home in Powys, Wales, tried to help by making a custom footswitch but his deteriorating condition meant that within a short time Frankie could no longer use it.

Although Wales is a long way outside MERU’s usual area the charity became involved becuase no other organisation had the appropriate skills.

Over 17 months Project Leaders Graham Race and Hayley Smith made several visits to Wales and trialled different solutions.

Eventually they and volunteer engineers Adrian Fisher and Doug Sander devised and made a completely unique solution which would capture Frankie’s movements, giving him full use of the Playstation’s 18 controls.

It also has the flexibility to let a carer take over some of the functions if Frankie gets tired.

Frankie can now use his switches to play the games he loves.”

Sadly Frankie recently died. Full respect to him, his family and MERU for what they strived for and achieved. Support MERU here.

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